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Friday, June 12, 2009

Lewis, Sanchez Struggling to Reach Potential

The Giants have a few guys on their roster with very high ceilings, but are just not getting it done right now. Those two guys are Fred Lewis and Jonathan Sanchez. To a lesser extent, you can also throw Nate Schierholtz into that mix.

Fred Lewis started off the year on a tear. He was hitting over .350 for the better part of April, while getting on base around %45 of the time. Lewis looked like a prime candidate for the lead-off spot, cause he really wasn't driving in runs in the middle of the order, even with the high average. However, ever since the Giants moved him around, he's hit a wall. His average has been steadily declining since early May, and he still isn't really producing any runs (only 8 RBI through June 12). He's now sitting at .256, and the lack of run production is really starting to hurt the Giants lineup. Nate Schierholtz has gotten a few shots to get himself some more PT in the outfield, but he's done very little to prove that he deserves it. Schierholtz hasn't really gotten a steady string of at-bats, so it's kind of hard to judge what he's done, but with the ab's he has gotten, he's been un-impressive, to say the least. Nate the Great is only hitting .227 himself, has yet to leave the yard in 71 at-bats, and is carrying an OPS of .553. It's a good thing Aaron Rowand is playing out of his mind right now and taking the spotlight off of Lewis and Schierholtz a bit or else the Giants would be closer to 4 games below .500 than 4 games above.

Speaking of under-performers, a lot of people are wondering when Jonathan Sanchez is going to put everything together and become the complete package, and some are wondering if it will ever happen in San Francisco. The 26 year-old lefty walked 7 batters in 5+ innings in his last start, and looked like a complete mess out there at times. He did manage to only allow 1 earned run and did a great job limiting the damage, but he showed that he's still got a long ways to go before he can be counted on consistently. He's going to give you that great start every 3-4 times out there that makes you think that he's turning the page, but then he has 2-3 average to below-average ones and you start wondering just what kind of bat he may be able to bring back in a trade.

If I were Brian Sabean, I'd try and package these "upside" or "talent" guys and deal them away while they still have some value. Not saying that I think Fred Lewis and Jon Sanchez are going to become irrelevant ballplayers over the next year or two, just saying that their value now may be as high as it's going to get. Both Sanchez and Lewis have attributes that some teams would definitely have interest in. Lewis is as athletic as they come, can get on base and steal bases and if he got put in an offensive yard, he may just take off. Sanchez has #1-#2 starter-type stuff, but he has never been able to really harness it on a consistent basis, but he's still just 26 years-old, so he's got some time for a team that has the patience. Sabean should try and come up with some sort of package that includes Sanchez, Lewis, Schierholtz and maybe a young minor league arm like Henry Sosa. That foursome should be able to net the Giants a decent bat, either in the outfield or corner infield, that could come in and help them score runs. All those guys are cheap and under team control for a few more years, so I'd target younger, rebuilding teams like the Royals, Nationals and Pirates or teams looking to field out rosters with cheap talent.

One plausible scenario could possibly be sending Sanchez, Lewis and maybe one other young prospect to Washington in exchange for Nick Johnson and Josh Willingham, which would be a major offensive upgrade, in the now. Insert Willingham in left and Johnson at first, and the Giants lineup improves drastically, but would it be worth it into the future? I personally would try and get some younger players who the Giants could control for that package, but let's be realistic, none of these guys are going to ever be all-stars or big impact players. It would be very interesting to see what kind of offers the Giants would receive if they did put a package like that together.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Bleacher Bum-138 said…

    I've been saying all along, Trade Sanchez. I don't know about Nick Johnson though. I guess Willingham would bring some power to the lineup, but Johnson is a walking injury. What about Elijah Dukes?

  • At 2:47 AM, Anonymous true giants diehard said…

    Awesome complete game by Timmy tonight... And the Giants keep on rolling. It may just make some sense after all to make a trade for this year. The Giants aren't that far off of the wild card and two bats like Johnson and Willingham could put them over. Then Bring up the kid Madison Bumgarner or whatever his name is to take Sanchez's spot.. I'm all for it. Go Giants!!!


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